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Employee or contractor? DOL says most are employees

Many employers are faced with questions when it comes to the classification of employees versus contractors. Having each type of workers has unique advantages and disadvantages both for the individual and the organization. While organizations might often try to classify some workers as contractors, the Department of Labor recently released an interpretation that would make many of those who are classified as contractors misclassified workers who should be considered employees. The department released the interpretation after receiving numerous complaints for individual workers who felt that they were misclassified. The conclusion is that under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), most workers should be classified as employees. Misclassification has tax implications for organizations. As for employees, it’s vitally important that they are properly classified for wage protections, appropriate overtime compensation and unemployment insurance coverage. According to the DOL, the “Economic reali ...

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Building a Restaurant Takes As Much Business Skill as Culinary

It's a generally accepted fact that most restaurants go out of business early on, but this is especially true of restaurants owned by those with little experience on the management end of the industry. In general, these tend to be chefs who have dreamed of opening their own venue, but have no practical experience with procuring ingredients, balancing the books, and negotiating leases on a space. These unfortunates tend to commit certain common errors, which only require a little business acumen in order to avoid. First and foremost, novices to the restaurant industry should avoid entering into informal business partnerships. If a friendly supporter of your restaurant venture offers their services as consultants or business managers, don't assume that it is merely an act of altruism. People who help out your business will invariably expect to be compensated sometime in the future, either in the form of a more formal partnership, or at the very least with actual compensation. Making these types of arrangeme ...

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Essential Facts about Your Wellness Tech Partner

One way that employer can increase engagement among their employees is to express an interest in the whole person by initiating wellness programs aided by the latest in wellness technology. Here's the most important information to get before deciding upon a vendor with whom to partner. Integration: what's the relationship between benefits, treatment, and employee information with a given vendor? These connections should be essential and self-reinforcing so that they become a vital part of your wellness initiatives. Can they also integrate other initiatives within your company like community service or commuting expense stipends? So much the better. How will this technology contribute to your company culture overall? Will the use of this technology contribute meaningfully to employee engagement throughout the company? System Requirements: how many platforms is the technology under consideration available on? Having a sense of what tech your employees use will be instrumental in determining the im ...

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What Marriage Equality Means for Employee Benefits

Owing to the Supreme Court's decision on June 26, benefit professionals may find themselves with a lot of new requests for spousal accommodation under existing benefit packages. This will impact those plans in ways that you might not immediately expect, so here are a few reminders of programs that will likely be effected by these changes. First, now is a good time to revisit your company's policies surrounding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). The FMLA of course gives employees the ability to take time off to care for a spouse, parent, or child without endangering their job. COBRA covers health insurance benefits for families of the recently unemployed. In both these cases, legally defining a same-sex spouse as entitled to the same rights an expectations as any other spouse means that families of same-sex couples can expect the same coverage. More obviously, same-sex spouses will now be eligible for coverage under each other's employers' heal ...

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What could be the fallout? Supreme Courts ACA Subsidy decision will have impacts

The Supreme Court of the United States recently made a decision regarding the subsidies associated with the Affordable Care Act. The Court was examining whether the subsidies were legal or not. Ultimately, the government won and the subsidies will remain. But what might have happened if the government didn’t win? If the subsidies were found to be illegal, the insurance subsidies individuals are receiving that make the Affordable Care Act available for most individuals would be no longer, and nearly 10 million Americans would no longer have health care coverage. Additionally, experts believed that premiums would rise quickly in various individual markets. So who would have been the winning players if the Supreme Court decided in favor of the opposing party? If the subsidies didn’t exist, the ACA’s employer mandate would also disappear. Companies can only be fined if their employees without insurance seek a plan on the exchange and receive a subsidy. The price hikes that would have re ...

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